The only part of your vehicle that should intentionally come in to contact with the road is your tyres – and if you take a moment to have a look, it’s a pretty small area that is actually in contact at any one time. To provide the best possible grip combined with handling and economy we demand three things from the tyre - first, the rubber compound is in good condition and not deteriorated through age, second, there is plenty of tread on the tyre, and thirdly, that the tyre is able to perform at it’s best by being inflated to the correct pressure. Step forward, a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System or T.P.M.S.
I would think most people reading this will know of the importance of a correctly inflated tyre, but I’ll re-iterate them anyway, as it fills space – sorry, is an important reminder!
An overinflated tyre will wear prematurely across the main tread area and may be more likely to puncture. An underinflated tyre will not grip properly either and can can overheat, again risking premature failure. That heat comes from somewhere and that somewhere is the engine working harder to propel the car, using more fuel – and costing you money. Now we’re talking! For those who watch the MPG closely – like me – the potential increased running costs – never mind the safety aspects – are a sobering thought.
Many cars now have an on board monitoring system fitted as standard, but there are also a number of kits available for those of us without and the good folk at Fit2Go were kind enough to send me their kit to have a look at.
The selling point of this particular product is it’s ease of installation – but we’ve all heard that before. To test their claims we went over to the storage yard last weekend to fit the system to our car and caravan – and filmed it. It really was a simple as they say – I’ll go through the steps below, but you can see our short video here:
The first thing to do before fitting the kit is to make sure the tyre pressures are correct. This provides a reference point for the sensor.
Then the sensors are added to each wheel, replacing the existing dust cap. An anti-theft locking nut is screwed on first, then the sensor, then the nut is screwed back to the sensor with a nifty little spanner. A red LED flashes as the sensor calibrates to the current pressure of the tyre.
The receiving unit – the part that sits in the car - is solar powered, so there’s no wires to install. It’s the size of an old tax disc and has a self adhesive backing to affix to the windscreen. The unit must be switched on first by using a pen or similar to hold down the small button at the rear – this only needs to be done once – prior to fitting.
And that is it! As I mention in the video, even with checking the tyre pressure it barely took ten minutes – and that included the two wheels on the caravan. So, it was certainly easy fit, but what about operation?
Unlike some monitoring systems the Fit2Go doesn’t indicate actual tyres pressures and temperatures. However what it DOES do is alert you to changes that could potentially be dangerous – high or low pressure and high temperature. There is an additional alert if sudden pressure drop is noted, indicating a serious puncture or similar.
Of course, to truly test if the system was working correctly, what we really needed was a puncture! However, it was fairly easy to simulate by loosening off the sensor on one of the tyre and letting some air out. The LED on the sensor flashed accordingly as did the display in the car.
So, yes it does what it’s supposed to. Simply. And that’s the key with this system – no pairing of sensors with the main unit. So if, for example you change to a twin axle caravan, you just buy another pair of sensors, fit them as described above and off you go. There’s no wiring to hide thanks to the main unit being solar powered. I really liked the fit and forget nature of this product and would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a Tyre Pressure monitoring System.
Fit2Go have put together some Frequently Answered Questions which you can see HERE
The main kit comes with four tyre sensors and additional sensors can be purchased in packs of two. Remember, you don’t need to program anything, they just pair up automatically.
The Fit2Go TPMS can be bought directly from the manufacturer HERE